Ibstock factory visits prove vital for Aquarian Cladding Systems

Aquarian Cladding Systems has always prided itself on being more than just a supplier – and team visits to a range of Ibstock PLC factories over the past month proved both exciting and invaluable.

The specialist external brick cladding systems supplier’s product portfolio includes MechSlip, a non-combustible, A1-rated mechanically-fixed cladding solution.

Using brick slips with unique profiles to enable them to each be mechanically fixed to any substrate, at any height, via an engineered metal rail support system, MechSlip was developed by industry leaders Ibstock Kevington, who cut the brick slips, and Ash and Lacy, who designed the mechanical rail.

Aquarian Cladding visit Ibstock manufacturing facilities

The Aquarian team visited neighbouring factories, Chesterton and Kevington Mildands, as well as Cattybrook in Almondsbury, and Julian Venus, Business Development Director of Aquarian Cladding Systems, said: “The two factories in Newcastle-under-Lyme allowed us to go beyond supplying and instead we were able to see the craftsmanship of Ibstock’s brickmaking, how the brick slips were cut and how corner components were cut and bonded.

“The factory in Cattybrook offered a unique experience as it also holds a clay pit quarry with the clay contributing towards the creation of Ibstock bricks. As well as machinery, kiln, and an impressive stockyard, we were able to see some new and exciting products that we believe are going to be an enormous success.

Ibstock MechSlip manufacturing

“The Ibstock teams at all three factories were great and imparted their detailed knowledge of the entire process perfectly. We’d like to say a big thank you to Ibstock PLC for having us.”

MechSlip has been introduced to Aquarian’s unique Approved Installer Network and the company has worked with its 60-strong approved installation companies to add the unique brick cladding system to their portfolio.

Factory visits such as the three undertaken are vital, according to Julian, in helping Aquarian Cladding Systems add value to the supply chain.

“Companies must look at increasing the value they offer to the supply chain to provide a better service, and this has always been our target. We don’t just distribute MechSlip, we understand the product, the design requirements, the construction requirements and the manufacturer requirements so we’re able to offer the most effective solution to each project we work on.”

With Ibstock launching Ibstock Futures to create the UK’s first automated brick slip systems factory in the UK, with the planned capacity of producing annual volumes of up to 60 million slips, the brick cladding market shows no signs of slowing down.

Julian added: “There has been a real growth for MechSlip over the last three years, with a number of high-profile building projects opting for the solution, and we can only see an exciting future partnering with Ibstock, one of the market-leading, innovative manufacturers in the sector.”

As key distributors of Gebrik, MechSlip and NaturAL-X, Aquarian Cladding Systems is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of brick cladding systems. Working with architects, contractors, developers and installation specialists, Aquarian’s cladding systems have been used on many award-winning buildings across a wide range of sectors. For more information, call 0808 223 9080, or email info@aquariancladding.co.uk